Runners will need good night-navigation skills. Photo: Ben Winston

Runners will need good night-navigation skills. Photo: Ben Winston

An elite runner is planning a mountain marathon with an extra challenge.

Runners will have to tackle the Dark Mountains course through the night in the height of winter.

The event is the brainchild of Dragon’s Back Race organiser and Original Mountain Marathon elite class winner Shane Ohly, and will take place in northern England next January.

Mr Ohly hopes to make the event, in which teams of two will tackle the course in elite, A, B, C and score classes, a regular fixture on the mountain marathon calendar.

He said: “I’ve always enjoyed the sense of adventure found when running in the mountains at night and the real satisfaction gained from finding your way.

“Although we only soft -launched the event through Facebook earlier in July, we are already taking entries, which makes me confident that there are plenty of other runners who relish dark mountains.”

Dark MountainsBecause of the extra difficulties of moving on the mountains at night, the courses will be altered so that although the winning time for competitors will be similar to a normal mountain marathon, the overall distance will be less.

Mr Ohly said the event will kick-off on the evening of Saturday 26 January, with the longest classes setting off first for dusk-to-dawn racing.

The shorter classes will set off later in the evening with the aim of most competitors finishing within an hour or so of each other the following morning. “This should make for an exciting finale as all the courses and most of the competitors converge on the finish as dawn breaks,” organisers said.

“Dark Mountains is meant to be challenging but with the courses remaining open until noon on the Sunday there will be sufficient time for all the competitors to complete their course and share in the success.”

A hearty breakfast and hot drinks will be on offer for competitors as they finish. Organisers are also allowing runners to camp at the event centre should they wish to grab some sleep before travelling home.

Entry cost per team of two is £90. More details are on the Dark Mountains website.

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